If you are like most people, you are only one of many people working on a project at any given time. As a result, there is the potential that folks “bump” into each other when trying to access files.
Let me explain. For the most part, whoever gets to a .DWG first is able to perform edits. Everyone else can be set up to reference the contents of the .DWG but must wait until the current editor closes the file before getting the opportunity to jump into the .DWG and begin making their own edits. As a project team grows and the project files are shared more and more often, this can get quite competitive. :)
In the event you are denied access to editing a .DWG because someone else got to it first, it would be helpful to know who that person is and/or what machine they are currently working on. (So you can negotiate getting access to the file yourself or having that person perform your edits)
In some cases, the operating system provides us the information as to who is currently editing the file. (Opening the file directly) In other cases, we are only told the .DWG is locked for editing but not given any information as to who the current editor is. (In-place Xref editing)
It is for this reason, AutoCAD based applications like Civil 3D gives us a handy tool to query any .DWG and report back who is the current editor, what machine are they working on and how long have they been editing. This tool is called “WHOHAS”
Check out the video below to see how it works.